|Herbal Medicine Course
|Herbal Medicine Course
The Herbal Medicine Course (consists of 280 hours of learning): The comprehensive
curriculum encompasses the essentials of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine to
promote the fundamental understanding of how herbs may be used to benefit patients in a
modern clinical practice.
This course is taught in three stages, required for all participants.
STAGE A: PREPARATORY PROGRAM
April 20 to July 22, 2023
During this initial stage, fundamental knowledge about individual herbs, herbal
formulae, and the theoretical framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) will
be taught in order to optimize the educational experience of the participants during Stage
B, the face-to-face practical sessions beginning on July 23, 2023. This segment will
cover much more than cursory knowledge of Chinese herbal therapy and include the
Depending on the time of enrollment, the participants are expected to devote
a minimum of 5 to 10 actual viewing or listening hours per week to the program,
so that they will be adequately prepared to take full advantage of the learning
experience in the practical sessions of Stage B.
- Theoretical Foundation: Important concepts of TCM such as the eight
categories of illnesses; four methods of diagnosis; internal, and external, physical
and emotional causes of diseases; and patterns of progression of pathological
processes, etc. will be presented in an online multimedia program and a specially designed course workbook.
The principles of TCM, though seemingly
foreign to modern physicians, will be logically explained in modern medical terms.
- Individual Herbs: The properties, sources, therapeutic actions, potential
adverse effects, scientific data, traditional usages, and modern clinical studies of over 120
herbal agents will be described.
- Herbal Formulae: Herbal ingredients, relative dosages, therapeutic rationale,
and traditional and contemporary explanations of the healing mechanisms of many well-
known herbal formulae will be explored.
- Treatment Strategies: Major TCM therapeutic methods such as tonification,
dispersion, diaphoresis, emesis, catharsis, qi mobilization, and equilibration will be
- Classification of Herbs According to the Meridian System and how such a
concept may be extrapolated to understand pharmacological actions and side-effects of
- Yin and Yang and the Modern Clinical Experience: How a basic TCM
concept such as yin and yang may be used to interpret the findings of modern clinical
trials and how this knowledge may be translated into actual benefits for patients.
- Algorithms in Designing Therapeutic Formulae: How to select individual
herbs according to their pharmacological properties, and combine them effectively to
achieve a specific therapeutic goal, and balance the formula with additional agents to
reduce its potential side-effects and enhance its overall efficacy.
STAGE B: PRACTICAL SESSIONS
July 23 (Sunday) to July 25 (Tuesday), 2023
This 3-day program is designed to consolidate
the knowledge gained during Stage A, converting theoretical and factual knowledge
into practical applications in day-to-day patient care. Various practical facets of
herbal treatments will be covered:
- Herbs Recognition Laboratory: Participants will be trained to recognize common
herbs in the Chinese medicine formulary by examining actual samples generally found on the
shelves of traditional herbal stores.
- Herbal Tour: Visit the Chinese Herbal Garden at UC Berkeley and observe a large
variety of herbs in a natural habitat.
- Traditional Herbs Preparation and Tasting: The proper way of decocting herbs will
be demonstrated, and participants will be able to sample various potions (formulae) to acquire
firsthand knowledge of what it is like to take herbal medicine the traditional way.
- Contemporary Herbs Preparation: Herbal extracts and concentrates derived from
raw herbs with modern technology without significant loss of potency can take the forms of
tablets, capsules, powder mixtures and elixirs.
- Hands on Diagnostics Workshop: Diagnostic methods of TCM such as inspection,
questioning, and palpation will be taught, emphasizing tongue and pulse diagnoses and how to correlate
findings with patient’s symptoms to help formulate the therapeutic strategy.
STAGE C: POST-CONFERENCE HOME STUDY PROGRAM
July 26 to October 31, 2023
Additional herbs, herbal formulae, case studies, dietary therapy according to
TCM, and special interest topics will be covered in audio, video, and written media
following the practical experience gained from attending the face-to-face session of
Stage B, including the following:
- Setting Up an Office-Based Modern Herbal Pharmacy: Ordering, stocking, organizing
herbal supplies and inventory management in a physician’s office will be discussed.
- Clinical Runs: Demonstrations by faculty members on how to assess a patient’s health
status and to initiate a health maintenance plan using the herbal approach will be presented.
- Herbal Economics: The proper and equitable way of generating revenue by maintaining
in-house herbal supplies for the benefit and convenience of patients.
TOPICS FOR STAGE B AND STAGE C
Major Clinical Applications of Herbal Therapy:
The following topics will be presented in Stage B
and Stage C
- Herbal Management of the Climacteric: The non-hormonal approach
will focus on the TCM ways of using various traditional herbal formulae to treat the
symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause.
- Women's Health from the TCM Point of View: The understanding of the
special physiological makeup of women from the standpoint of Traditional Chinese
Medicine has provided diverse methods of treating acute as well as chronic gynecological
problems such as dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, pre-menstrual tension, etc.
- Pain Management: The roles of herbal therapy in treating acute pain such
as musculoskeletal conditions secondary to trauma and chronic pain including repetitive
strain injuries, complex regional pain syndrome, arthritis, and fibromyalgia will be
- Emotional Disorders: The origin of depression and anxiety is multifactorial
according to TCM, so the treatment may involve different therapeutic strategies with a
wide range of choices of herbal agents.
- Respiratory Disorders and Immune Dysfunctions: How herbal medicine
may modulate the immune response in various chronic pulmonary disorders, with special
emphasis on asthmatic conditions.
- Herbs for the Guts: Chronic gastrointestinal diseases affect a large segment
of the industrialized population, yet available treatments are mostly palliative. The use of
herbal remedies can be used to treat common problems such as GERD and irritable bowel
- Mitigating the Side-Effects of Chemotherapy: The herbal paradigm.